At least 7 fires are burning across Colo. as the state battles one of the most severe wildfire seasons in recent memory. The state’s governor says officials across the country recognize that it’ll take a big push to get the blazes under control.
At least 11,000 residents of Manitou Springs, Cascade, Chipita Park and Green Mountain Falls were ordered to leave Saturday or early Sunday, as a wildfire grew to a size over 2,000 acres.
The area is under a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning. Conditions are dry with winds of 20 mph and gusts as high as 30 mph. The forecast high for Colorado Springs, Colorado is 99°F. Winds are expected to prevail overnight.
The Garden of the Gods park, Manitou Springs vacation town, Cascade, Ute, and the west side of Colorado Springs are all closed to traffic.
Pikes Peak (elevation 14,100) is covered in gray smoke.
See also …
WunderMap Wildfire Map by wunderground.com …
Red Flag Warning
URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
1241 PM MDT SUN JUN 24 2012
…RED FLAG WARNING FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY WINDS…HIGH
HAINES AND DRY FUELS IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON UNTIL 9 PM MDT TODAY
FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 226 AND 227 WHICH INCLUDES EL PASO
…RED FLAG WARNING FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS IN EFFECT FROM NOON
UNTIL 9 PM MDT TODAY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 220 AND 221 WHICH
INCLUDES LAKE AND CHAFFEE COUNTIES…AND TELLER COUNTY AND THE
…RED FLAG WARNING FOR FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY WINDS…HIGH
HAINES AND DRY FUELS IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM MONDAY THROUGH 9 PM
MONDAY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 221 AND 222…AND 225 THROUGH 233.
THIS INCLUDES TELLER COUNTY…EL PASO COUNTY…FREMONT
COUNTY…THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS…PUEBLO COUNTY…HUERFANO
COUNTY…LAS ANIMAS COUNTY…CROWLEY COUNTY AND OTERO COUNTY.
NORTHERN EL PASO COUNTY-SOUTHERN EL PASO COUNTY-
1241 PM MDT SUN JUN 24 2012
…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM MDT THIS EVENING
FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY WINDS…HIGH HAINES INDICIES AND DRY
FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 226 AND 227…
…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM TO 9 PM MDT MONDAY FOR
FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 226 AND 227…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PUEBLO HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY WINDS…HIGH HAINES INDICIES
AND DRY FUELS WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM TO 9 PM MDT MONDAY.
* AFFECTED AREA…FIRE WEATHER ZONES 226 AND 227.
* WINDS…SOUTH 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 8 PERCENT.
* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER 80S.
* IMPACTS…GUSTY WINDS WILL COMBINE WITH HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS
TO PRODUCE EXTREME FIRE DANGER. RAPID RATES OF FIRE GROWTH AND
SPREAD WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH ANY FIRES.
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith is keeping the media out because of concerns for safety — adding he wants to ensure residents who lost their home learn about it from him, not the news media. Fred Brown (journalism ethics expert): Independent reporting is key … The best way to verify something is to witness it. Without that particular access, its pretty much hearsay.
Vaclav Krisner (lost cabin to fire): This is not a show, it’s human tragedy of many humans.
Nina Sanderson: “I would rather hear it — that my childhood home burnt down from whoever’s mouth than not hear it.”
CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Sunday, June 24th, 2012
JUN 13 2012 — A wildfire in Colorado, sparked by a lightning strike, has gutted more than 100 buildings and left at least one person missing.
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